Antibiotic resistance is common in the cultures of intraabdominal abscess drainage after appendectomy

Andrew Hu*, Jennifer Li, Jonathan Vacek, Megan Bouchard, Martha Conley Ingram, Maxwell McMahon, Leena B. Mithal, Mehul V. Raval, Marleta Reynolds, Seth Goldstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Intraabdominal abscesses (IAA) are a common complication following appendectomy. Empiric antibiotic regimens may fail to prevent IAA due to changes in bacterial resistance. We aim to describe the bacteriology of pediatric patients requiring drainage of an IAA after an appendectomy for appendicitis. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients ≤18 years who underwent percutaneous drainage of an IAA following appendectomy a single U.S. children's hospital between 2015 and 2018. Patient demographics, appendicitis characteristics, antibiotic regimens, and culture data were collected. Results: In total, 71 patients required drainage of an IAA of which 48 (67%) were male, the average age was 9.81 (SD 3.31) years and 68 (95.7%) having complicated appendicitis. Ceftriaxone/metronidazole was the most common empiric regimen prior to IAA drainage occurring in 64 (90.1%) patients. IAA cultures isolated organisms in 34 (47.9%) patients. Of those with positive cultures, 17 (50%) cases demonstrated an antimicrobial resistant organism. Most notably, 20% of Escherichia coli was resistant to the empiric regimen. Empiric antimicrobial regimens did not appropriately cover 92.3% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cultures or 100% of Enterococcus species cultures. Antimicrobial regimens were changed following IAA drainage in 30 (42.2%) instances with 23 (32.4%) instances due to resistance in culture results or lack of appropriate empiric antimicrobial coverage. Conclusions: IAA culture data following appendectomy for appendicitis frequently demonstrates resistance to or lack of appropriate coverage by empiric antimicrobial regimens. These data support close review of IAA culture results to identify prevalent resistant pathogens along with local changes in resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-106
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Abscess culture
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Antibiotic stewardship
  • Appendectomy
  • Intra-abdominal abscess
  • Pediatric appendicitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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